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Mnangagwa calls for private sector-govt dialogue

by Staff reporter
21 Oct 2020 at 22:17hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa  yesterday called on private players in the economy to dialogue with his government to find ways of improving the country's ease of-doing business and attract direct foreign investment.

This comes amid calls from stakeholders for Mnangagwa to dialogue with various sectors, including political leadersnlike MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa, to address the country's political and economic challenges.

Speaking during a tour of French-owned Saint Gobain Construction Products Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa said his government was working towards implementing policy changes, facilitating the ease-of-doing business and attracting foreign investors.

"My administration remains committed to facilitating increased production, productivity, profitability of our entities across all sectors of the economy; hence our doors are open to dialogue with the private sector.

"The challenges you may face if you think the government can assist, not the minister, my door is open.

"Every company is important to our economy," Mnangagwa said.

This also comes as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently commended Zimbabwe's efforts in stabilising the country's volatile exchange rate and runaway inflation through the introduction of the weekly forex auction system and its active participation in trade negotiations, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),  the Tripartite Free Trade Area between Comesa, EAC and Sadc, in addition to concluding an EPA with the European Union.

Mnangagwa applauded Saint Gobain for establishing a solar plant to power its production works, adding that the government was working towards ensuring adequate electricity supply to boost industry.

Zimbabwe has in the past experienced crippling power shortages which saw ordinary citizens and businesses going without electricity for up to 18 hours a day.

"The company is applauded for its prudence by guaranteeing energy supply to the plant through leveraging on the use of renewable solar energy.

"This technical intervention also goes a long way in promoting the green industry initiative. "However, let me assure you that we have a programme under the Second Republic where we are having four or five companies now in Hwange constructing plants to generate electricity and by 2024 or 2025, we should have around 6 500 megawatts produced by those companies.

"Our current demand is around 2 000 megawatts, so by that time we shall be having 8 000 megawatts of electricity and the projection is that by that period our economy will be able to use around 4 200 megawatts. "So, we shall have a surplus and again, I assure you that on the side of energy you shall be safe," he said.

He added that his government under the National Trade Policy and Export Promotion Strategy had put in place strategies to grow exports to US$7 billion by 2023.

"The African Continental Free Trade Area also presents great opportunities for our local industries who must position themselves to penetrate the continental markets.

"I thus challenge Saint Gobain and other players in the construction industry to leverage on the booming construction industry, both locally and regionally, to increase their product range, market-based and experts into Africa and beyond," Mnangagwa said.

Source - dailynews

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